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The aim of the Stormont Awards Art Competition is to encourage students in local Primary Schools to engage in a fun and creative way with visual art under the guidance of their art teachers. The making of the work therefore fits into the school curriculum naturally and is not dependent on home and parents.
There are prizes of art materials both for the winners in the different age groups and for their schools.
Trustee, Kate van der Pump was the organiser and was in contact with the seven schools which entered: Beckley, Peasmarsh, Playden, Winchelsea, Northiam, Rye Community and the lower school of Rye College. The children worked during the autumn term 2019 and the Awards ceremony was held on 11th January 2020.
"The Stormont Awards enjoyed another wonderful turn-out to celebrate the prize-giving and opening of the exhibition at Rye Art Gallery. This is the third year that the Trust has run the initiative with even more of our local Primary Schools participating, resulting in over 120 works being put on show. The theme this year was 'MONSTER' and the children had really enjoyed letting their imagination loose and creating some vibrantly colourful and scary creatures.
The judges, sculptor Guy Portelli RBA, artist Matt Hardman, and Gallery Director Jane Fenn spent a very enjoyable day selecting our winning pieces of artwork but they all commented on how diverse and wonderfully original all of the submitted works were."
At the prize-giving Kate emphasised the importance of finding the time to sit down with our children to draw, paint or make models, to have conversations about stories and develop young children's imagination. "It is important to not let the wonders of technology, computer games and delivered imagery substitute or stunt original creative thought in young minds. Creative thinking is not just for the art room, it should run through all subjects, particularly Maths, Science and English" she said.
Councillor Rebekah Gilbert, who kindly presented the prizes, encouraged the children and their families to just "pop in and visit Rye Art Gallery' on a regular basis" to see an exciting range of paintings, prints and 3D work which could be the starting point for children to think about their own creative ideas.
The Gallery received valuable funding and support from Kate Sims and her team at Rye Community Shop and Nick Moon at Artwrite our local art materials and office supplies shop. The RAG Trust and our sponsors continue to do everything possible, through the Awards Scheme, to assist our local schools and younger pupils to have wider creative opportunities.
Please do come along and see the fantastic results of all their hard work! The Exhibition will be up from 11th - 25th January in the Stormont Studio which is Gallery 6 on the top floor.